If you live in an area with frequent storms, having a storm door installed can seem like an easy decision to make.
After all, the right storm door keeps your home’s entry door protected and your home more comfortable. Still, it might not be the option you’re looking for.
To help you decide whether adding a storm door is right for you and your family’s home, we’ve outlined the basics below.
What is a storm door?
A storm door is a second door installed in front of your home’s exterior door to protect against inclement weather. In many cases, a storm door can also allow for ventilation in better weather.
To do so, these doors can have either interchangeable or retractable glass and/or screen panels. With this feature, storm doors can act as screen doors during warm weather, letting in breezes without letting in bugs.
Storm doors are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Their typical construction includes three layers: a front and back layer making up the exterior with an interior layer of insulation.
Why do homeowners install storm doors?
Storm doors have a number of benefits. Despite the name, storm doors aren’t purely designed for bad weather. Let’s take a look at how they work in two different scenarios.
Storm doors during good weather
During nice weather, a storm door is a great complement to a solid exterior door.
You can leave that door open and let in light and air while still keeping out bugs. Great for spring, summer, and fall, these screen storm doors let light in, permit parents to keep an eye on their kids, and provide natural airflow.
Storm doors during inclement weather
A storm door lives up to its name when the sun ducks behind the clouds.
They function well as a way to protect the entry door from the elements, working as a shield against rain, ice, wind, and snow. A well-installed door also adds extra insulation against air leaks, helping your home’s energy efficiency. They also create a pocket of insulation between the outside world and your home that keeps cold air out and warm air in.
Like the exterior doors they protect, storm doors also come with their own suite of styles. This includes a variety of frames and glass types, each which let in different levels of light.
A full view door is one that consists of an entire panel of glass. This lets in the most light. A mid-view door consists of three-quarters glass. High-view storm doors feature glass in the upper half.
The type of glass used includes clear, decorative, and Low-E, or low emissivity. The latter helps to reflect heat without minimizing the amount of light that enters your home.
Features and Hardware of Storm Doors
Beyond their pure functionality, there is plenty that can be customized to make your storm doors both more attractive and more useful.
These types of doors are available in vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, or wood and can often be ordered already painted to match your home’s exterior color.
Other options include:
- Blinds between the panes for privacy
- Built-in keyed lock or other locks
- Handles and hinges in a variety of finishes (ex: oil-rubbed bronze, antique brass, or the color of the door)
When Does Your Home Need a Storm Door
If you’re asking yourself “Do I need a storm door?” there are a few variables to consider.
- Local climate – Is the weather severe enough to warrant the investment in a storm door? It may be worth considering if you experience all four seasons.
- Exterior door – Is your door new, well-sealed, and energy-efficient? Depending on the quality of your home’s exterior door, a storm door may end up redundant.
- Door exposure – Is your door exposed directly to the elements? Or is it sheltered? If the door receives more than a few hours of direct sunlight each day, a storm door may not be ideal. This is because the glass traps heat against the door in a potentially damaging way. Likewise, a porch door or one under an overhang is protected from the elements, so one may not be necessary.
Pros and Cons
For a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of storm doors, read on.
- In fair weather, the screen storm doors allow for ventilation
- Homes with solid exterior doors can enjoy more visibility and light
- Storm can doors can insects out
- Extend the life of exterior doors by protecting from rain, ice, wind, and snow
- Available in various materials, styles, and colors
- Without proper orientation, storm doors can cause a build-up of heat that harms entry door
- May be unnecessary for exterior doors that are already protected
- They can be difficult to manage when also handling groceries or small children
Ready To Install A Storm Door For Your Home?
While storm doors aren’t ideal for every door or every home, they can be quite valuable.
If you’d like to discuss adding a storm door to your home, we encourage you to call our expert team at Johnson Lumber today for a free consultation.